Scaling up Biofortified Crops: Which Ones, Where and When?


by A4NH | February 13, 2018

In 2017 HarvestPlus developed a new, 5-year strategic plan for 2018-2022.  The goal of this strategic plan is to establish the key activities and the resources needed for HarvestPlus and its partners to scale up biofortification over the next 5 years, with a vision to reach 1 billion consumers by 2030.

To inform this new strategic plan, Keith Lividini, Head of HarvestPlus’ Strategy and Policy Research Unit, conducted an intensive, evidence-based analysis to identify the most efficient micronutrient-crop-country combinations for investment over the next phase of delivery. In this case “efficiency” not only refers to biofortification’s potential impact on reduction of micronutrient deficiencies, but also to the ease of transfer of learning from one country/crop context to the next, which supports sustainability and cost-effectiveness of scale up.  Drawing on globally-respected indices such as the Biofortification Priority Index and the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index, and in close collaboration with Wolfgang Pfeiffer, Chief Scientific Officer and Director of R&D at HarvestPlus, Keith identified 30 priority countries and 13 crops which can be biofortified in vitamin A, iron and/or zinc, by using conventional plant breeding methods. Keith and Wolfgang went on to design a carefully-phased delivery plan for each country based on the potential health impact, existing capacity, current and future crop readiness, public-private partnerships and the opportunity for mainstreaming.

On January 16, 2018, Keith and Wolfgang held a Webinar to present the methodology and data behind the selection of these 30 priority countries that are included in HarvestPlus’ 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. Titled “Scaling-up Biofortification to 30 Countries: The Impossible Science of Country Prioritization,” the webinar was attended by global HarvestPlus staff as well as scientists across CGIAR centers and research programs, and included an introduction by HarvestPlus CEO Bev Postma, and a lively Q&A session following the presentation.

Presentation slides are available, while the webinar can be seen here:

This post originally appeared on the HarvestPlus website. Please visit the Biofortification flagship and news pages to learn more about A4NH research in this area. For additional questions about this presentation, please contact Mr. Lividini at